Findlay, OH

Tactics Used

Auto Seizure
Buyer Arrests
Community Service
Employment Loss
Identity Disclosure
IT Based Tactics
John School
License Suspension
Neighborhood Action
Public Education
Reverse Stings
SOAP Orders
Web Stings

Findlay is a city of about 40,000 residents, located in northwestern Ohio’s Hancock County between Bowling Green and Lima. Prostitution and child sex trafficking are well documented problems in the city. For example, in 2013, the FBI and local police raided massage parlors in Findlay and Toledo, which were part of a ring for Asian prostitution and sex trafficking. The FBI alleged that the women who work at those businesses performed illegal sex acts and that the workers were in the country illegally and engaged in prostitution, possibly against their wills. The FBI used confidential informants to provide information to the agents over a one-year period prior to the raid.

Among the tactics used to suppress the local commercial sex market are strategies targeting consumer-level demand. In May 2014, six men from Ohio and Michigan were arrested in Findlay for attempting to solicit prostituted persons. Each of the men was arrested during an undercover prostitution investigation conducted by the METRICH Enforcement Unit (Metro-Richland County) and the Wood County Sheriff’s Office.

Loss of employment is another consequence of purchasing or coercing commercial sex in Findlay. For example, in August 2020 a local priest was arrested at his home in Findlay on allegations that he engaged in the sex trafficking of a minor. A federal grand jury indicted the man on charges of sex trafficking of a minor and sex trafficking of an adult and minor by force, fraud, coercion, or enticement. The man had been a priest at St. Michael the Archangel Parish in Findlay since 2017. A criminal complaint said that investigators were aware that his alleged sexual conduct with minors occurred between 1999 and July 2020. Since his arrest, he had been placed on leave by the Diocese of Toledo. He previously served as pastor at St. Mary of the Assumption Catholic Church in Van Wert, where at least some of the sexual acts allegedly took place, according to the federal indictment. He was accused of using his position of trust to seek out underage, minor victims and guide them into performing sexual acts. In addition, he was accused of using the drug addiction of his victims in order to coerce them into performing commercial sex acts.

Key Sources

Reverse Stings, Identity Disclosure:

Sex Buyer Arrest, Identity Disclosure, Loss of Employment:

Sex Trafficking and Child Sexual Exploitation in the Area:

Background on Prostitution in the Area:

State Ohio
Type City
Population 40313
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